A portion of the building that was once the tallest in Orange County could be converted into a hotel, according to an item under consideration by the Anaheim Planning Commission.

The Samuel Kramer building, located at 201 E. Center Street, reigned as the tallest building in Orange County from the time of its completion in 1924 until the 1960s.  Built by investor Samuel Kraemer, who developed much of Anaheim's Downtown area, the six-story structure originally functioned as a bank headquarters, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s.

In the early 2000s, most of the building was converted to apartments, though some office space remains at its ground and mezzanine levels.  Later entitlements allowed for those some of those dwellings to be rented on a short-term basis.

Now, owner VNT Properties is seeking permission to convert those short-term rental units - as well as some of the remaining office space - into a 24 room hotel.  Plans also call for the addition of a business center, and potentially a coffee shop and restaurant on the building's ground floor - though that aspect of the project would require a separate approval at a later date.

A staff report recommends that the Planning Commission sign off on the project, arguing that the proposed change of use is appropriate for the Kraemer Building, and would not cause significant impacts on the surrounding area.

The project is a response to a recently-approved amendment to Anaheim's Zoning Code which created a new use class allowing for hotel rooms with full kitchen facilities.  The conditional use permit for the Kraemer Building hotel would not become valid until the zoning code amendment goes into effect on May 16.